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A PRAYER for the estate of Christ's Church: to be used on Sundays.

01 GRACIOUS GOD and most merciful Father, thou that art the God of all comfort and consolation: we poor and wretched sinners acknowledge against ourselves, that we are unworthy to lift up our eyes to heaven: so horrible and great are the sins that we have committed against thee, both in thought, word, and deed. But thou art that God whose property is always to have mercy, and thou hast extended thy mercy unto us in thy beloved Son our Saviour Christ Jesus, in whom thou hast loved us before the foundation of the world was laid and to the end thou mightest advance thine own mercy, in a good and happy time hast called us, by the preaching of thy blessed and holy Gospel, to repentance, preferring us before many and great nations to be a people consecrate unto thee, to hold forth thy righteousness, and to walk in obedience before thee all the days of our lives. In this persuasion of faith, and by him, good Father, we present ourselves before thee, renouncing all our sins and corruptions, and trusting only in him and his righteousness, beseeching thee for his sake to hear us, and to have mercy upon us. Thou hast made an holy promise unto us, that shall be performed, that at what time soever a sinner doth repent him of his sin from the bottom of his heart, thou wilt hear him: And that whosoever calleth upon thee in his Name, thou wilt grant all his requests. Our sins therefore do grieve us at the very heart, and we are displeased with ourselves for them; yea, we loathe ourselves for the frailties and transgressions that cleave so fast unto us. Wherefore, good Father, hear us, and accept the sacrifice of thy Son, as a most sufficient satisfaction for them, and behold us in his righteousness. Go forward with that excellent work that thou hast begun in us, and never leave us, till thou have made it perfect, till the day of Jesus Christ. Increase our knowledge, and give us a lively sense to discern sweet from sour, and sour from sweet, good from evil, and evil from

['This prayer may be compared with the one commencing on p. 483.]


good; that sin and superstition deceive us not under the cloke of religion and virtue. O Lord, this must be thy work for we confess that our reason is blind, our will is froward, our wits crafty to deceive our selves, our understanding and all our natural powers quite alienated and estranged from thee. It must be the seed of thy word, by the quickening of thy Spirit, that must lead us to newness of life, that must work in us the excellent hope of immortality, and make us to live to righteousness: and therefore put to thy helping hand: Let thy gracious goodness never fail us, to the increase of all heavenly virtues, and continual growth and gain to godliness. And because the Ministry of thy word is the ordinary mean for the attaining of this unspeakable blessing: we beseech thee, Let us never lack that excellent help: Let our bodies rather famish than our souls, yea, let us rather lack all worldly things, than that most precious Jewel of thy holy word and comfortable Gospel preached to our salvation. And therefore, thou that art the Lord of the harvest, send forth labourers into thy harvest, and double thy Spirit upon thy servants, making them as brasen walls against thine enemies, giving them courage and boldness to do thy message, yea, and that to Kings and Princes, that they being called and sent of thee, in the assured persuasion of their offices, may not fear the faces of any mortal creatures, nor be dismayed with any transitory majesty 2. Good Lord, make thy word sharp in their mouths to an effectual operation, that sin may be cut down, and thy righteousness may flourish Grant to them the fear of thy Name: Let their lips, O Lord, preserve knowledge, and their lives shine in holiness to the stopping of the mouths of their adversaries, and drawing many by their example to thy blessed and holy religion. Bow the hearts of all Kings and Princes of the earth to the obedience of thy dearly beloved Son Christ Jesus: If otherwise they shew by plain effects, that they belong not to thy fold, good Lord, let them feel thy hand, and find against whom they set themselves: let the blood of thy Saints, which they shed

[As they did now, when the Terrour of God tooke hold upon them, pray for the Restitution of Discipline [see also p. 574], so in a time of great Judgements in King James the first's Reigne, they tooke certain petitions out of this Prayer for the Church, made and used during this Earthquake.' Dr Williams's MS.]



without mercy, make them drunken to perdition. In mean time assist those that thou callest to this trial, that they may feel thy help and comfort amidst all their sufferings, whilst they shall be assured to be blessed when they suffer for righteousness' sake, and to reign with thy Son, when they fulfil his sufferings in their flesh, and carry in their bodies the scars and marks of his wounds. O Lord, sanctify their blood, that it may water thy Church, and bring a mighty increase and gain to thyself, and a decrease and loss to the kingdom of Antichrist, and to the Princes of the earth, who are become his slaves and butchers. And herein (good Lord) by special name we beseech thee for the Churches of France, Flanders, and of such other places: help them after their long troubles', as thou shalt see to be best for them, in the advancing of thine own glory. And now (Lord) particularly we pray unto thee for this Church of England, that thou wilt continue thy gracious favour still towards it, to maintain thy Gospel still amongst us, and to give it a free passage. And to that end save thy servant Elizabeth our Queen; grant her wisdom to rule this mighty people, long life and quietness round about her; detect all the traitorous practices of her enemies, devised against her and thy truth. O Lord, thou seest the pride of thine enemies: and though by our sins we have justly deserved to fall into their hands, yet have mercy upon us, and save thy little flock. Strengthen her hand, to strike the stroke of the ruin of all their superstition, to double into the bosom of that rose-coloured whore that which she hath poured out against thy Saints, that she may give that deadly wound not to one head, but to all the heads of that cruel beast; that the life that quivereth in his dismembered members yet amongst us may utterly decay, and we, through that wholesome discipline, easy yoke, and comfortable sceptre of Jesus Christ, may enjoy his great righteousness, that thy Church may flourish, sin may abate, wicked men may hang their heads, and all thy children be comforted. Strengthen her hand, and give her a swift foot to hunt out

[These troubles were now of more than twenty years' continuance. But, from 1560, the Hugonots had been arrayed, as a great party, in open hostility against the catholic authorities; the inhabitants of the Low Countries, on the contrary, not so long. Davila (Aylesbury's translation), p. 43. Camden, pp. 416, 443. Zurich Letters, pp. 412, 431.]

the bulls of Basan, and the devouring beasts that make havoc of thy flock. And because this work is of great importance, assist her with all necessary helps, both in giving her godly, wise, and faithful counsellors, as also in ministering to her such inferior rulers and officers as may sincerely, uprightly, and faithfully do their duties, seeking first thy honour and glory, then the commonwealth and quiet of this realm: that we may long enjoy thy truth, with her, and all other thy good blessings that in so great mercy thou hast bestowed upon us, with growth in goodness, gain in godliness, and daily bettering in sincere obedience. Good Lord, comfort those that feel the heavy burthen of their sins, and have no assurance in present feeling of that blessed inheritance thou hast purchased for them. Bless all such (if it be thy good will) whom thou hast united and knit unto us in any league of familiarity or affinity, that we may rejoice in the best bond, and only in this, that we are made partakers of one inheritance. Be merciful unto thy people of England which confess thy name, and make us not a byword among the heathen, as our sins have deserved. Turn away thy wrath which thy terrible tokens do threaten toward us, and turn us unto thy self; remove us not out of thy presence, but let thy fatherly warnings move us to repentance. And thus (good Lord) commending our several necessities unto thee, who best knowest both what we want, and what is meet for us, with giving thee humble and hearty thanks for all thy mercies and benefits; we knit up these our prayers with that prayer that Jesus Christ our Lord and master hath taught us. Our Father, which art in heaven, &c.

This prayer may be used after the Creed which followeth the Epistle and Gospel.

XVII. ¶ A PRAYER for all Kings, Princes, Countries, and people, which do profess the Gospel: And especially for our sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth, used in her Majesty's Chapel, and meet to be used of all persons within her Majesty's Dominions.

O LORD God of hosts, most loving and merciful Father, whose power no creature is able to resist, who of thy great goodness hast promised to grant the petitions of such as ask in thy Son's name: we most humbly beseech thee to save and defend all Princes, Magistrates, kingdoms, countries, and people, which have received and do profess thy holy word and Gospel, and namely this Realm of England, and thy servant Elizabeth our Queen, whom thou hast hitherto wonderfully preserved from manifold perils and sundry dangers, and of late revealed and frustrated the traitorous practices and conspiracies of divers against her: for the which, and all other thy great goodness towards us, we give thee most humble and hearty thanks, beseeching thee in the name of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and for his sake, still to preserve and continue her unto us, and to give her long life and many years to rule over this land. O heavenly Father, the prac tices of our enemies, and the enemies of thy word and truth, against her and us, are manifest and known unto thee. Turn them, O Lord, if it be thy blessed will, or overthrow and confound them for thy name's sake: suffer them not to prevail: take them, O Lord, in their crafty wiliness that they have invented, and let them fall into the pit which they have digged for others. Permit them not ungodly to triumph over us: discomfort them, discomfort them, O Lord, which trust in their own multitude, and please themselves in their subtle devices and wicked conspiracies. O loving Father, we have not deserved the least of these thy mercies which we crave: for we have sinned and grievously offended thee, we are not worthy to be called thy sons: we have not been so thankful unto thee as we should, for thy unspeakable benefits poured upon us we have abused this long time of peace and prosperity we have not obeyed thy word: we have had it in mouth, but not in heart; in outward appearance, but not in deed we have lived carelessly we have not known the time of our visitation: we have deserved utter destruction. But thou, O Lord, art merciful, and ready to forgive. There

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